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A generations-old family feud might ruin a couple’s last chance at love…and tear apart the oldest whiskey distillery in Tennessee in the process.


We stopped at my car and Cole leaned up against the front while I fumbled with my keys.

“You locked your door?” he asked.

“Yeah, don’t you always lock your car door?” My finger slipped as I pressed on the unlock button. Instead of the lock clicking open, the alarm pierced through the quietness of the night. Would I ever stop making a fool out of myself around this man?

“I can’t remember the last time I locked a door, except for the door to the distillery.” Cole cleared his throat. “Hey, I was wondering if you’re planning on sticking around this weekend? If so, would you be up for going on a drive with me? There’s something I’d love to show you.”

“What do you have in mind?” I tilted my head, studying his features. The Roman nose, the sculpted jaw, the eyes that pulled at something deep down inside my soul.

“Something that will hopefully give you an idea of why the history of Devil’s Dance is so important. Not just to me, but to everyone at the distillery, whether they realize it or not.”

Could he be any more vague? Despite the lack of details, I was intrigued. “How long do you think it would take? Maybe we could go tomorrow afternoon and I could leave for home on Saturday morning instead.”

“Shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours.” Cole steepled his fingers under his chin. “Though it’s supposed to rain tomorrow. Might make it a little tricky getting to where we’re going and back.”

“You mean to tell me a guy who drives a truck like yours is afraid to put it into four-wheel drive?” I wasn’t sure where that comment came from. Maybe it was the fear that this might be my last chance to spend a little time with him before the Stewarts crashed back onto the scene. Or maybe it was my need to find the heart of his story. The more I learned about the distillery, the more I recognized that the history was an integral part. Incorporating pieces of that into the plan I was creating for Davis would only make it better.

“I suppose we can go for it if you’re sure you don’t mind getting a little wet.” The way he said it, I knew it was a call back to the time we’d spent together in the past. A shiver raced down my arms, pebbling my skin at the implication.

“I don’t mind getting wet as long as you don’t think it will be too hard.” Two could play at the dangerous game he’d started.

One edge of his mouth quirked up. “Let’s go for it then. I’ll leave the office around three and swing by Jessie Jay’s to pick up something we can take with us for dinner. I can stop back by the office to get you on the way out of town. Sound good?”

That sounded absolutely delightful, but I’d be damned before I told him that. “Sure, I think I can tolerate you for a few hours.”

Cole tapped his fist on the roof of my car. “Oh, one more thing. Make sure you dress warm.”

My body temperature had already heated a few degrees at the thought of going somewhere with him alone. “Sounds like a plan.”

He started walking away, but turned after he’d crossed the driveway. “Oh, and Danica?”

My heart dove into my stomach. “Yes?”

“Plan on getting very wet.”

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